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ATD#8 Don Cherry Round 1: #2 New Jersey vs. #7 Toronto

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Old
11-19-2007, 07:19 PM
  #1
VanIslander
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ATD#8 Don Cherry Round 1: #2 New Jersey vs. #7 Toronto

The Don Cherry division:

First Round Match-Up



New Jersey Devils

Coach: Dick Irvin Sr.
Captain: Mario Lemieux
Alternates: Kirk Muller, Scott Niedermayer

Bert Olmstead - Mario Lemieux - Jarome Iginla
Clark Gillies - Vladimir Petrov - Jack Darragh
Jack Walker - Mickey MacKay - Bob Nevin
Kirk Muller - Rick MacLeish - Gary Dornhoefer
Jack Marshall, Bernie Morris

Chris Pronger - Cy Wentworth
Scott Niedermayer - Jack Crawford
Ernie Johnson - Ken Morrow
Frank Patrick

Harry Lumley
Harry Holmes

vs.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Coachunch Imlach
Captain: Darryl Sittler
Alternates: Al MacInnis, Mats Sundin

Keith Tkachuk - Darryl Sittler - Mike Bossy
Gary Roberts - Mats Sundin - Rick Vaive
Ilya Kovalchuk - Bill Hay - Jim Pappin
Geoff Courtnall - Murray Oliver - Leo Labine
Peter Zezel

Al MacInnis - Gary Suter
Jimmy Thomson - Borge Salming
Zdeno Chara - Tomas Kaberle
Mike Milbury

Ed Belfour
Mike Richter
Mike Vernon

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Old
11-19-2007, 07:20 PM
  #2
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New Jersey Devils

PP1: Olmstead - M.Lemieux - Iginla - Niedermayer - Crawford
PP2: Gillies - Petrov - Darragh - Pronger - MacKay

PK1: Walker - MacKay - Johnson - Morrow
PK2: Muller - Nevin - Pronger - Wentworth

vs.

Toronto Maple Leafs

PP1: Tkachuk - Sittler - Bossy - MacInnis - Suter
PP2: Kovalchuk - Sundin - Vaive - Thomson - Salming

PK1: Labine - Oliver - Chara - Salming
PK2: Pappin - Sundin - MacInnis - Kaberle

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11-19-2007, 09:41 PM
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Hockey Outsider
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Initial impressions:

- The starting goalies are surprisingly similar. Belfour and Lumley were named best in the league twice each; both won one Stanley Cup on an excellent defensive team; both saw their GAA drop by about 0.3 in the playoffs; both had fiery personalities and weren't afraid to use their stick to slash opponents in their crease; both had long, steady careers (800-900 games). The starting goalies are about as even as you can get.

- Which Leaf gets the unenviable task of covering Lemieux? There are only a few centres with the combination of excellent positional play, strength and discipline necessary to shut down such a dominant player. Murray Oliver is a good #4 centre, but I don't think he's good enough to cover #66.

- LL, why do you have Thomson on the PP and Kaberle on the PK? I'd switch them. Thomson was one of the strongest, toughest defenders of his era and will be needed to move a player like Gillies from the front of the net. Conversely, Kaberle is a solid positional defender, but you're letting his great playmaking skills and a solid (though underutilized) wrist shot go to waste on the PK.

- BM, I like Johnson (10-time PCHA all-star), but he used a 99-inch stick. Would he be as effective defensively if he had to shorten that by three feet?

- LL's left-wingers take way too many penalties. (To their credit, Roberts and Tkachuk usually took smart penalties, but there's no way Geoff Courtnall should be in the box for 120+ minutes each season). This either means that Kovalchuk will get a disproportionate amount of ice time while his fellow LWs are in the box, or star scorers like Bossy and Vaive will have to spend large parts of the game out of position.


Last edited by Hockey Outsider: 11-19-2007 at 09:52 PM.
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Old
11-19-2007, 09:57 PM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
Initial impressions:

- The starting goalies are surprisingly similar. Belfour and Lumley were named best in the league twice each; both won one Stanley Cup on an excellent defensive team; both saw their GAA drop by about 0.3 in the playoffs; both had fiery personalities and weren't afraid to use their stick to slash opponents in their crease; both had long, steady careers (800-900 games). The starting goalies are about as even as you can get.
I agree on some of the point, but at the end Belfour > Lumley. Ed Belfour is a better regular and playoff goaltender and he's more capable of stealing a game or a serie than Harry Lumley. I still think without any bias that Belfour should of won the Conn Smythe in 1999. If it wasn't of the strong goaltending depth in the 90's (Roy, Hasek and Brodeur are 3 of the top 7 goaltender all-time, all in thier prime) Belfour could of got a couple more hardware. And while he got most of his trophies early in his career, he was a dominant goaltender behind a strong defensive cast in Dallas and to a certain extent in Toronto (which LL has).

Still, I prefer Lumley at 304 than Belfour at 96, but that's not the point here.

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11-19-2007, 10:17 PM
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I still think they're pretty even. Lumley also faced off against tough competition. He beat Terry Sawchuk (when he was in his prime) twice for his two first all-star selections. Sawchuk was sheltered, to a degree, by Kelly, Pronovost, Goldham and Pavelich (not to mention the high-powered offense of Howe and Lindsay). Lumley's teammates were still good, but not dynasty-calibre. Lumley also faced off against Durnan, Brimsek and Broda throughout his career. I agree that Belfour probably faced tougher competition but Lumley didn't have an easy time either.

The other thing that really impressed me about Lumley is how much consideration for the Hart he routinely got. In 1955 (the year Ted Kennedy apparently got the Hart as a retirment gift), Lumley was runner-up and was way ahead of the other finalists (Richard, Beliveau, Harvey). He finished in the top five in Hart voting in 1946 and 1954 (other finalists those year include Richard, Howe, Kelly, Durnan and M. Bentley). That's a very high level of play, against great opposition, spanning a decade of hockey.

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Old
11-19-2007, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
- BM, I like Johnson (10-time PCHA all-star), but he used a 99-inch stick. Would he be as effective defensively if he had to shorten that by three feet?
99 inches was his reach, not his stick length. He'll have to adjust to a shorter stick, about a foot shorter, but he will still have a huge wing span.

Quote:
The history of the ice hockey stick has seen regulations in length. Ernie “Moose” Johnson, an All-Star winger and defenseman, supposedly used a hockey stick that was 75 inches long. Hockey sticks that were too long became interference in the rink. During the 1927-28 hockey season, the National Hockey League (NHL) made a new rule, requiring all sticks to be 63 inches in length or shorter.
- http://stickshack.com/Hockey-Stick-History.htm

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11-19-2007, 10:40 PM
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99 inches was his reach, not his stick length. He'll have to adjust to a shorter stick, about a foot shorter, but he will still have a huge wing span.
Ah, I misread that before. I knew something seemed strange about a player using an 8 foot stick!

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Old
11-20-2007, 02:47 AM
  #8
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There is entirely too much innuendo in this thread for me to post coherently. Once this talk of Moose and his eight foot stick simmers down, I'll give my impressions.

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Old
11-20-2007, 05:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
- Which Leaf gets the unenviable task of covering Lemieux? There are only a few centres with the combination of excellent positional play, strength and discipline necessary to shut down such a dominant player. Murray Oliver is a good #4 centre, but I don't think he's good enough to cover #66.
Honestly, IMO the Leafs best chance at victory is to take the low road. And Gary Suter is damn good at the low road. Lemieux can't really be taken out with skill, he can be tamed a bit, but only to an extent. He can however have his body taken out, and Suter is a willing participant in such dishonourable tactics.

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11-20-2007, 09:49 AM
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LL, why do you have Thomson on the PP and Kaberle on the PK? I'd switch them. Thomson was one of the strongest, toughest defenders of his era and will be needed to move a player like Gillies from the front of the net. Conversely, Kaberle is a solid positional defender, but you're letting his great playmaking skills and a solid (though underutilized) wrist shot go to waste on the PK.
Agreed, that was one thing that stood out for me with LL's line-up as well.

I like LL's top-two lines. I think if Tkachuk can clear room and be the physical presence on that line, it should make things a bit easier on the Sittler/Bossy combination. I also (and this may be the Leaf homer talking) like the Sundin/Roberts combination. They have a history together and would have been even better in their prime together. Roberts was never a winger who needed to get the puck fed to him constantly to succeed, so he worked well with Sundin who liked to shoot the puck and score (although for much of the time in Toronto he's been the product of being the onyl one who could get the job done on the top line).

I think LL's checking line will hurt him in the end. Courtnell was never considered a real shut-down guy, and while it would take a special line to limit Lemieux regardless, I think Mario could go nuts in this series. He's one of the Top 5 players of all-time, I don't see anyone who can come close to stopping him in LL's bottom 6.

As much as I'd likely switch Salming for Suter, I think LL has done a good job of balancing the defensemen he took.

I think the goaltending is relatively even, certainly no difference big enough to be a difference maker in the series, and with LL's defensive forwards not being up to the task of defending Lemieux, I think Belfour will be facing a lot of rubber.

Overall, the Devils are looking like a really solid team, but I think LL may have gotten a bad break finishing 7th, because I do like parts of his team a lot, I'll have to perouse the other teams in the division and do a ranking for my own purposes. While LL has solid depth up the middle, I think BM has done a better job of putting together a roster that can limit Toronto's scoring more than Toronto can limit the Devils.

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Old
11-20-2007, 07:04 PM
  #11
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Where has our old buddy LL been? I expected this to be a war of words (and LL verbiage) between the two most tenured and experienced GMs in the draft. After Murphy and I had our battle, there are two GM battles I want to see: VanI vs. FI2 (or whatever he calls himself by the time they play) and LL vs. BM.

I think the most decided edge in this series is coaching. I don't think Irvin is that much better than Imlach. But I think New Jersey has a team that works perfectly with Irvin - a rugged, well-rounded, hard working squad. I don't think there's a tougher top six forwards in the draft than New Jersey. I'm a bigger Imlach fan than most, but he feuded with Sittler, and it could get ugly with Tkachuk, Kovalchuk and Belfour.

Goaltending's close to a wash. The more I think about it, I'd take Lumley over Belfour. But not by much. I think Lumley's a little more level-headed, a little more consistent than Belfour. I think Belfour's more likely to step up and steal a couple games - he had a knack for stealing games throughout his career - but he's much more likely to implode.

LL has the best defenceman in this series - MacInnis - and the best overall blue line. That's what happens when you have five defencemen picked in the first half of the draft. MacInnis is a sure-fire No. 1, Salming was very high on our list for No. 2's, and Suter and Thomson are perfect as No. 3's. Good to see Chara's stock fall - this is closer to where he belongs.

On the surface, pick 56/57 is too soon for Scott Niedermayer. Great player. Put him in the HHOF. On the surface, picking Niedermayer ahead of Bill Gadsby (who I have in the top 20 all-time for defencemen, and ahead of MacInnis, too), is heresy. But the Niedermayer/Pronger reunion is too much to pass up. I think BM picked Morrow too soon, but he is a rock-solid shutdown guy for the third pairing.

BM's fourth line is arguably the best in the draft. They're all well-rounded players. Dornhoefer and MacLeish played together in Philly (along with Ross Lonsberry). Lonsberry isn't there, but Kirk Muller is a hell of a fill-in. Scoring will be very difficult against either the MacKay or the MacLeish line.

LL's team does have talent. The one thing that sticks out is Geoff Courtnall on the fourth line. Either LL thinks that Geoff Courtnall can take care of his own zone (which he can't), or he doesn't want to have a checking line. Take it from a guy who watched hundreds of Courtnall games: he isn't good enough to play on a defensive line. High PIM totals doesn't necessarily equal good defensive play. If he's not a scoring line, he's a liability. Oliver-Zezel-Labine would be a much more effective unit.

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11-20-2007, 10:31 PM
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I think LL's best bet is to play Sundin/Roberts against Lemieux. Sundin comes the closest in terms of size and skating ability. Also Mario certainly isn't a selke winner, so Sundin will get more than his share of chances to put the puck in the net while Mario is on the ice.

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11-20-2007, 10:41 PM
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After the Seattle T-Birds -- which I have the luck/badluck to face in the 1st round -- the Leafs 7th place is one of the biggest non-sense of the draft. I had a problem with how the bottom lines were constructed, but he fixed the MAJOR problem of having Labine above a 4th line. Don't know what will happen of Geoff Courtnall, but considering the Devils 4th is REALLY tough, well, Geoff wouldn't contribute much anyways.

I agree with JFF -- LL's best bet is to make Sundin and Roberts play with Mario. As good as he was, Mario wasn't the guy to liked being roughened up (Roberts), and Sundin as at least the size and the speed to avoid being completely overpowered. Not sure he has the skill the handle Lemieux, but it's not like Sundin can't play offense -- in the end, Lemieux will have to care about his backchecking more than what he would do normally.

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11-20-2007, 10:58 PM
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I really don't see the Leafs having much, if any, chance against Jersey. Lemieux shredded some of the best defensive players in his era. Gary Roberts might limit the impact he has overall, but I don't see them (Roberts & Sundin) holding Lemieux to any less than a PPG. The other thing that hurts Toronto is their wingers. Tkachuk, Kovalchuk, the veterans on his roster are going to have to keep these *******s motivated when the game's on the line if they expect to counter Jersey's attack, which should definitely be the case when one examines Toronto's D. They aren't exactly braced for shutdown detail.

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Old
11-21-2007, 07:12 PM
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Interesting comments thank you to everyone who took time to share thoughts on my and BM67's teams.

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11-23-2007, 04:35 PM
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First off, I had LLanders team finish higher then last. For some reason (maybe the GBC incoherent comments) theres a LL bashing going on.
Im voting for the god awful Leafs in 7 !

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11-25-2007, 09:20 PM
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ATD #8 : Toronto Maple Leafs vs. New Jersey Devils

GAME 1
“ I never saw them coming. Good thing Scott (Niedermayer) bought me a mask, even if I would have done without those ridiculous apples on the cheeks” said Devils netminder after game one. Even if he faced them quite a few times during regular season, Lumley could just do nothing against four huge slappers – 2 from Chopper, 2 from Bossy – and the Devils lost the first game 4-1. It didn’t helped that the Devils spend roughly 15 minutes of the game on the PK, and you could see coach Irvin mad at the main culprits, Chris Pronger and Gary Dornhoefer after the game. “That’s a simple physics law: it was obvious that if I tried to hit this guy (Leo Labine), it would have been an head shot”, said Chris Pronger, who had his share of penalties because Labine and Pappin kept teasing him. “Dunno what is there to do in New Jersey, see you in New York guys”, said Ed Belfour, who earned a ridiculously easy win tonight.
Leafs 1 : Devils 0

GAME 2

“I played an extremely poor first game. I guess it wasn’t tough to do better, but I’m happy to have redeemed myself so early” said Chris Pronger after the Devils have beaten the Leafs 3-2 in second game. Pronger, who assisted goals by Lemieux (the GWG) and Darragh, also brought his A-game defensively : his pairing didn’t allow a single shot during the game at ES. “Give credit to Cyclone. I know he’s there to back me up if something happens, thus I play with lots of confidence”. Both teams are somewhat happy : the Devils played a much more disciplined game than in the first one, and the Leafs are happy to go back home with a win, considering they were heavy underdogs at start. “If we can stick to hockey fundamentals, like shooting, skating and shooting, we have a good chance to sweep this round”, said Ilya Kovalchuck, the best player of his team in game two, while Mats Sundin listened, a bit perplex about what he just heard.
Leafs 1 : Devils 1

GAME 3
“I don’t care about my hat-trick : in the end, we lost a game ahead of our fans.” Such were the words of Darryl Sittler in the lockerroom. The Leafs capitain scored three, including two goals where Lumley has been extremely weak, but it was in a 6-4 losing cause. “I had a feeling Richter would have done well home, and Eddie wasn’t top shape before the game. I guess I can be wrong… sometimes.” said Punch Imlach about having Mike Richter when Belfour have been more than adequate in the first two games. “I like playing with Iggy and Bertie : I have LOTS of space to work with” said Mario Lemieux, the GWG scorer after the game. As if he needs any…
Leafs 1 : Devils 2

GAME 4
“Wh…Where did that guy have learned to skate?” said D-Men Jack Crawford about his partner, Scott Niedermayer. Scott scored the GWG goal in OT, during an anthology rush in which he made a perfect fake-pass to Muller, and fired a wristshot past Ed Belfour, who was great in spite of the loss. Coach Imlach was particularly mad at Ilya Kovalchuck after the 3-2 loss. “Right now, Ilya tries to deke out all-time greats as if they were from junior squads in Russia. Don’t expect him to play next game.”
Leafs 1 : Devils 3

GAME 5
The Devils and the Leafs were extremely good defensive teams in their heydays, and it’s exactly the philosophy both teams adopted for what could be the last game of the round. Whenever the Leafs tried to do something offensively, the Devils D-Corps would simply shut the door, and whenever the Devils had a chance, The Eagle shut the door. The first goal came halfway in the third period, when Ernie Johnson released a weak shot that deflected on Zdeno Chara’s skate while he was busy taking care of Mickey MacKay infront of the crease. With 2 minutes left, Imlach withdrew Belfour for Mike Bossy, who skated full-speed towards Lumley’s crease and released a violent slapper behind a dumbfounded Lumley. After 7 minutes of OT, Jimmy Thomson made a weak pass that ended right up on Iginla’s stick, who quickly passed to Lemieux. The Magnificient was absolutely robbed by an acrobatic blocker save from Belfour, but the rebound ended up on Bertie’s stick, and The Eagle was completely out of place to witness Olmstead’s more important goal… to date.
Leafs 1 : Devils 4


The Devils win in 5 games

1st : Mario Lemieux, with 2 GWG and his throughout control of games
2nd : Scott Niedermayer, with an anthology goal in game 4.
3rd : Mike Bossy, with two goals in game 1, and a GTG in game 5.


Last edited by MXD: 11-26-2007 at 12:03 AM.
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Old
11-25-2007, 09:50 PM
  #18
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I expected a slightly closer one. I don't know how the games number is determined (is it by the numbers of votes for each team, or is it an average of the voters...?). Probably not many people expected the Leafs to win this one, but I conceived this round as one of the closest of all.

This said, congrats to BM. Devils is how we spell "balance" in only 6 letters.

Congrats to LL. I'll repeat it again : you did not deserved the 7th place in this draft.


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11-25-2007, 10:06 PM
  #19
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I had this series going the distance. I'm definetely surprised it ended the way it did.

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11-25-2007, 10:20 PM
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I expected a slightly closer one. I don't know how the games number is determined (is it by the numbers of votes for each team, or is it an average of the voters...?). Probably not many people expected the Leafs to win this one, but I conceived this round as one of the closest of all.
I believe BM67 uses a combination of the number of votes each teams gets and the rankings for the number of games.

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11-26-2007, 11:25 AM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LapierreSports View Post
First off, I had LLanders team finish higher then last. For some reason (maybe the GBC incoherent comments) theres a LL bashing going on.
Im voting for the god awful Leafs in 7 !
ty for noticing that!!

i respect bm67 to much to try defend up my team at the expense of his great team. I like to be classy when dealing with my peers.In short I wont spit into the wind.


I think that the votes should be saved and posted when the drafts are over

so we can see the voting blocks when wrting a respective on the drafts.

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11-26-2007, 11:49 AM
  #22
Rick Middleton
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Originally Posted by Leaf Lander View Post
I think that the votes should be saved and posted when the drafts are over so we can see the voting blocks when wrting a respective on the drafts.
I don't see why we should open up the voting to everyone. I can't see that people here are going to vote for or against a team based on their personal feelings. As such the voting should remain confidential.

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11-26-2007, 12:01 PM
  #23
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I don't see why we should open up the voting to everyone. I can't see that people here are going to vote for or against a team based on their personal feelings. As such the voting should remain confidential.
Bingo. The secret ballot is definitely the way to go. I have yet to hear a valid reason for a public ballot.

I had LL higher than 7th again this draft. I was surprised that he finished last in the division. I don't know if he would have had enough to beat a team like Guelph or the Rangers. It didn't help that the Cherry was such a tough division.

And I wouldn't describe my ramblings as incoherent, Lapi. I think my concerns about Courtnall on a checking line, and the team meshing with Imlach's coaching style, were quite valid and congruent.

LL also hurt his chances by making one post in this thread. Didn't do anything to convince people that his team was good enough to upset New Jersey.

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Old
11-26-2007, 02:01 PM
  #24
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I don't see why we should open up the voting to everyone. I can't see that people here are going to vote for or against a team based on their personal feelings. As such the voting should remain confidential.
Middleton loses 4 games to 0 to the Marlies.

Book it.

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Old
11-26-2007, 06:40 PM
  #25
MXD
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post

LL also hurt his chances by making one post in this thread. Didn't do anything to convince people that his team was good enough to upset New Jersey.
I think arguing shouldn't be that much important. Sure, some players must be better known to be able to make some kind of judgement, but it shouldn't be thing of rhetorics between two (or three or four or whatever) GM's.

Some guys are better at arguing than others (and you can safely assume that you're among the lot GBC), some guys have english as their 2nd language (me, EB and Lap are the ones I know about) and thus arguments could be weaker (in english) because of a slightly different syntax (I do write a lot, in french, and sometimes I really have to reformulate in english), not because of the argument themselves... And in the end, I think the game is decided on the ice... not by rhetorics.

*Before someone says anything : yes, I did the write-up of this round, even though my english isn't top notch. Even if, in the end, it might be better than many english-speaking people, like... euh, I don't know if someone speaks enough french here to write a 500-word text about hockey (raleh, HO, maybe? I always had the impression that you are or were montrealers at some point, which doesn't mean you speak french, but have much better chances to do so than somebody living in the U.S.)...Well, if any of you two guys have rather good french skills, your writings about hockey (in french) might be much better than my colleague who does the french writing part of work/homework (we're in translation... I translate, she corrects) but doesn't knows jack**** about hockey.

This said, I wouldn't hate a public "table" showing the results. But the ballots must remain anonymous.


Last edited by MXD: 11-26-2007 at 07:09 PM.
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